Library Services – Sharing the Joy of Reading

By Eric Steckel
April 5, 2021

Elmer Strasser as Don Luis Maria Peralta_Library Services

Your support of library services for young children means they get to hear from historic figures like Don Luis Maria Peralta.

Children love a good story, something that lets their imagination soar! Despite constraints imposed by distance learning, our Succeeding by Reading Library Services Program has continued to open the doors of reading to the kids in our community. Here are a few ways they have shared the joy of reading.

  • Grab-and-Go Book Giveaway – We have received – and given away – over 3,000 books this school year. The books we receive are new or slightly used. We clean them up, package 4 or 5 of them in a handy tote, and give them to the children and their families at designated locations.
  • School Library Book Circulation – Working inside the MLK, Jr. and Carl Munck Elementary School libraries, we have developed approximately 900 loaner bags (of 4-5 books each) so that students have access to quality books. Even when the students get back to school, library visits may be prohibitive, so this is a way to keep books in the hands of eager young readers.
  • Online Book Reading – We continue to share stories with the children through online reading sessions. In celebration of Black History Month, we added a historic component to the sessions, focusing on the role Children Rising volunteers played in the civil rights movement. And for a special treat, Miss Kim reads a birthday book personalized for kindergarten children celebrating a birthday. They love it! (See the video below.)
  • Expanded Library Locations – This year we have been working with Carl Munck Elementary School to reopen a school library that has stood closed for five years.

YES, I CAN share the joy of reading with an eager child!

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Succeeding by Reading Literacy Tutoring Re-Launches Online

By Eric Steckel
April 1, 2021

Opportunities to innovate in support of student learning

Your support during our pivot to online tutoring provides exciting opportunities to innovate for improved student learning.

Succeeding by Reading Anywhere – Children Rising’s one-on-one, online literacy tutoring program – officially launched the first week of January, and expanded in February to serve seven schools. We are delighted to once again work with children so eager to learn to read.

The launch comes after months of development. Rebecca Buckley, Succeeding by Reading program director, and Bekah Wilson, program manager, began by diligently researching online versions of our current materials as well as hands-on learning tools that would be accessible to students and tutors alike.

Clinic coordinators Jeannette Brantley, Brenda Paulin, and Gwen Stephens reviewed the new materials, and together the team developed a platform that would equip tutors to use the materials online with their kids. The team then trained our energized returning tutors to become proficient at using the new system.

“It’s been quite an adventure, and we are thrilled to begin deploying tutors to serve many more students and families this month,” Rebecca Buckley said.

More than just a program pivot

The COVID-enforced distance learning directives meant that the SbR team had to entirely reimagine how tutors and students could work together productively. However, it provided our team the opportunity to integrate improvements into the curriculum to better align with current research and equip our tutors to serve students even more effectively.

Online versions of our materials, coupled with hands-on learning tools and trained, caring tutors, empowers children to learn to read.

One of the new developments involved expanding the scope of the Succeeding by Reading curriculum to address the needs of students who may have missed key elements in early-childhood learning. Some children are farther behind in their reading skills than we were previously able to address. Along with adapting our clinic model to the online environment, we are now prepared to say “Yes” to students who are farther behind their peers.

“We’ve taken advantage of this unexpected opportunity for deeper reflection on our work with students and more extensive research on reading. This has led us to review and improve our materials in order to better respond to the needs of struggling readers. So perhaps there is a silver lining to this pandemic time.” – Rebecca Buckley

The online tutoring model provides an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships and actively partner with the families, providing support in a far more holistic way. This includes homework assistance, additional tutoring for students in need of that little bit of extra help, and guidance in accessing laptops, hotspots, headphones, and more from the Oakland Unified School District.

Your support has allowed us to act immediately and effectively on behalf of the children. With the addition of online tutoring, many more members of our community will be able to come alongside a child and help them learn to read.

Your $250 pairs a second-grade child with a personal tutor for the remainder of the academic year.

YES, I CAN empower a child to build bridges to a better future!

 I want to learn more about online reading or math clinics to see if tutoring is right for me!

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!

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